Orthopaedic surgery is a relatively high risk area of work when compared with more frequently routine surgery. It is largely structural and requires the use of heavy duty tools. Franklin Vets has state of the art equipment and have invested heavily in this area to ensure we have the best tools available for the job.

  • Synthes Collibri II battery powered orthopaedic drill and saw. This combines a surgical drill, a pin driver and an orthopaedic saw all in one hand piece.
  • Electrocautery
  • Surgical suction
  • Dedicated sterile operating theatre
  • Magnifying headlight

Franklin Vets offers a range of orthopaedic treatment and surgeries for fractures, dislocations and tendon and ligament injuries.

Click on the injury for more information:

  • Long bone fractures

    Long bone fractures need stabilising to heal. This may involve an external splint or cast in the case of some fractures below the elbow or stifle joints (knee), but for anything above those joints and for many of those below that level, this is not enough, and some form of internal fixation will be necessary.

    There are a variety of options available for treating fractured bones. Sometimes we use pins inserted inside the bone, encircling wires around bone fragments, screws, external fixator frames or orthopaedic plates and screws.

  • Shoulder OCD

    Osteochondrosis dissecans (OCD) is a cartilage disease of young growing dogs. Shoulder OCD sometimes does not cause any lameness, and these cases may be managed conservatively with rest, anti-inflammatories, and chondroprotectants. However, cases which cause lameness are best treated with surgery.

    Surgery involves an approach to the back of the joint, then removing the area of diseased cartilage with a curette. The edge of the defect is cut with a scalpel to make a sharp transition between normal and diseased cartilage. Sometimes we then perform microfracturing by drilling tiny holes in the exposed bone to stimulate ingrowth of new cartilage.

  • Stifle OCD

    Osteochondrosis dissecans (OCD) is a cartilage disease of young growing dogs. Stifle OCD is a particularly unpleasant location for the disease to develop, as it always results in significant lameness.

    Surgery involves opening the stifle joint then removing the area of diseased cartilage with a curette. The edge of the defect is cut with a scalpel to make a sharp transition between normal and diseased cartilage. Sometimes we then perform microfracturing by drilling tiny holes in the exposed bone to stimulate ingrowth of new cartilage.

  • Rupture of the calcaneal (Achilles) tendon is an infrequent injury to dogs and cats. It can be associated with trauma, or with degenerative disease of the tendon.

    Most cases are treated surgically. This involves debriding the damaged ends of the tendon, then rejoining them with a special suture technique. The joined tendon must then be protected from strain while it heals, often using an external skeletal fixator device to immobilise the hock joint for several weeks.

  • Injuries to the cruciate ligaments in dogs are very common, especially in larger breeds of dogs, but can also affect small breeds and even cats.

    There are multiple different techniques recorded for operating on cruciate ligament injured dogs and cats. They fall into two main groups.

    1. The first group comprises using a prosthetic ligament to replace the torn or damaged ligament. This works well in small dogs.
    2. The second group involves making one or more cuts into the tibia (shin bone) to alter the angle the top of the shinbone makes to a measured line.
  • Pelvic fractures

    Fractures to the pelvis are relatively common in trauma patients, affecting both cats and dogs. Pelvic surgery can involve a combination of metal implants designed to hold the broken fragments in place while they heal.

    This can involve multiple surgical approaches to different parts of the pelvis, possibly during more than one operation. Pain control is critical, so the patient is normally on constant infusions of very strong painkillers throughout and after surgery.

  • Hip dislocation

    Dislocation of the hip normally comes from trauma such as being hit by a car or falling from a height. If treated soon after the injury, dislocated hips can sometimes be replaced under anaesthetic without surgery (closed reduction), and sometimes have bandages called Ehmer slings placed to try and keep the hip in place. Unfortunately,the risk of repeat dislocation is about 50%.

    For these cases surgery is recommended to replace the hip and stabilise it (open reduction).

    There are a variety of techniques for stabilising replaced hip joints. We have been using a suture technique for several years now, in animals ranging in size from cats to 40kg dogs, with great success.

  • Hock surgery

    Traumatic injuries to the hock (ankle) are common in dogs and cats. It is a very complicated part of the body, with multiple joints and ligaments, any and all of which can be damaged.

    Treatment depends entirely on the type of problem but Most of the injuries will require surgery to repair properly. Some ligaments need replacing with prosthetic nylon ligaments, while some damaged joints need fusing surgically and stabilising with bone plates and screws.

  • Some dogs and cats develop cancer on their mandibles (jawbone). Most of these cancers will require surgical removal as part of their treatment. This is a relatively complex surgery that also results in some changes to the appearance of the face however, the successful removal of cancer can be life saving for the patient.

  • Carpal (wrist) hyperextension injury is a severely debilitating injury mainly seen in large, active breeds of dog.

    This injury almost always requires surgery to treat, especially in dogs. The goal of treatment is to fuse the joints of the carpus by removing the articular cartilage at each level, packing bone graft in place, then stabilising the whole joint by means of a long plate and screws.

Your pets will receive professional care from our skilled veterinarians. Our fully trained staff will monitor your pet’s performance and comfort throughout the surgery with our state of the art equipment

Pain control is essential after orthopaedic surgery. Most of our patients are kept on infusions of painkillers while in the clinic, using combinations of drugs to keep them comfortable at all times.

Call Franklin Vets on 09 238 7486 to discuss the transfer of your patient to our clinic for assessment and treatment. You may be asked to bring any clinical notes, x-ray images and medications with you when you come.